Politics, religion, and culture where East meets West

Syria: The news you’ve been waiting for

with 2 comments

At long last (here):

BEIRUT, Lebanon—The Syrian regime Monday said it had the capability to use its chemical and biological weapons in case of a foreign attack, in its first ever acknowledgment that it possesses weapons of mass destruction.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything substantial about Syria’s slow, inevitable spiral into chaos (this post from March should catch you up), and that’s because I’ve been waiting for one of two things: (1) A black swan event to change the course of events or (2) the “discovery” of “WMDs.”

What I mean to say is that, barring the former, the latter was guaranteed to happen. After all, whispers of “chemical and biological weapons” have been going around for over a year, and there was no way this wasn’t going to end up in the ever-growing casus belli column somehow.

What’s so important about this development is that is increases the scope of the Syrian crisis beyond the “Arab mandate” stage.

Until now, NATO (via Turkey) has been effectively given a green light to invade Syria by mandate of the GCC(‘s pocketbook). But, since this is not a headline-appropriate reason for intervention, things like the Syrian-Turkish refugee situation, cross-border engagements, and a downed F-4 Phantom have all been tallied up and expounded upon in order to build a “legitimate” case to oust al-Assad.

But after Libya, NATO’s PR department isn’t too eager to rubber stamp a Syrian incursion. That means that before the war in Syria can go public, so to speak, it needs a better story than NATO warmongering.

WMDs fill that need. Once the situation in Damascus can be classified as anarchy (before or after it resembles the surface of the moon), it will be the responsibility of the international community to secure the weapons once possessed by al-Assad before they end up in the wrong hands. With the broader mandate brought about by WMDs, the end of the crisis, and the transition, will look a lot better on paper.

Better than Libya, anyway.


Written by M. James

July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Posted in News, Politics, Turkey

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. If I understand, the justification for intervention is the confluence of instability and the existence of chemical or biological weapons. Essentially, it is a vote by the international community that the government is no longer able to secure its own weapons due to events — like taking keys from someone who has enjoyed too much wine, yes?

    Luc Issa

    July 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm

  2. Precisely. After plying him with wine all evening.

    M. James

    July 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

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